Show Summary Details
Page of

A life course approach for understanding later life sustainability 

A life course approach for understanding later life sustainability
A life course approach for understanding later life sustainability

Richard Dodds

, Holly Syddall

, and Avan Aihie Sayer



A new section on the role of long-term conditions as determinants of physical sustainability;

Increased emphasis on the overlap between sustainability and sarcopenia;

A new section on the biological mechanisms that may underpin the relationships described in the chapter.

Updated on 24 September 2020. The previous version of this content can be found here.
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 May 2022

This chapter describes a life course approach for understanding later life sustainability, focusing on grip strength as a marker of physical sustainability, and explaining how a life course approach recognizes that muscle strength in later life reflects not only rate of loss in later life, but also the peak attained earlier in life. We present evidence that risk factors operating throughout the life course have an impact on physical sustainability in later life with particular consideration of the effects of body size, socioeconomic position, long-term conditions, physical activity, diet, and smoking. We have shown that low birth weight is associated with weaker grip strength across the life course and that there is considerable evidence for developmental influences on ageing skeletal muscle. Finally, a life course approach suggests opportunities for early intervention to promote later life physical sustainability; but optimal strategies and timings for intervention are yet to be identified.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.